John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath

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File:JohnGranville 1stEarlOfBath 1860Glass KilkhamptonChurch.JPG
John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath (1628-1701), detail from one of two large stained glass windows depicting the genealogy of the Grenville family, in the Granville Chapel, Church of St James the Great, Kilkhampton, Cornwall, erected jointly by his descendants in 1860
Arms of Granville: Gules, three clarions or
File:HeraldicAchievement JohnGranville 1stEarlOfBath KilkhamptonChurch.JPG
Heraldic achievement of John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath (1628-1701), south wall of Granville Chapel, Church of St James the Great, Kilkhampton, Cornwall. The arms are Gules, three clarions or (Grenville) impaling Azure, a pile ermine (Wyche). The Latin motto on a scroll beneath is Futurum invisibile ("The future is unseen")

John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath PC (29 August 1628 – 22 August 1701), of Stowe in the parish of Kilkhampton in Cornwall, was an English Royalist soldier and statesman during the Civil War who played a major role in the 1660 Restoration of the Monarchy and was later appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.[1][2][3] He was the first in his family to adopt the modernised spelling as Granville of their ancient surname Grenville,[4] which emphasised their supposed ancient 11th-century origin from the Normandy manor of Granville, Manche.


He was from a very ancient family supposedly descended from Rollo, 1st Duke of Normandy (c. 846 – c. 931),[5] and was the eldest son and heir of Sir Bevil Grenville (1596-1643) lord of the manors of Bideford in Devon and Stowe, Kilkhampton in Cornwall, a Royalist soldier killed in action in heroic circumstances at the Battle of Lansdowne in 1643 during the Civil War. Sir Bevil served as MP for Cornwall 1621–1625 and 1640–42, and for Launceston 1625–1629 and 1640. John's mother was Grace Smythe,[1] a daughter by his second marriage of Sir George Smith (d.1619) of Madworthy, near Exeter,[6] Devon, a merchant who served as MP for Exeter in 1604, was three times Mayor of Exeter and was Exeter's richest citizen, possessing 25 manors or part manors.[6][7][8] John had thirteen siblings, all by Royal Warrant of Precedence granted the rank and title of Earl's children by King Charles II on 20 August 1675, in recognition of their father's services.[9] Grace's half-sister Elizabeth Smythe was the wife of Sir Thomas Monk (1570–1627) of Potheridge, Devon, MP for Camelford in 1626, and mother of the great General George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, KG (1608-1670), the main figure behind the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. It was largely due to his close kinship to his first cousin the Duke that Sir John Grenville was raised to the peerage in 1660 as Earl of Bath[10] and was also granted the reversion of the Dukedom of Albemarle in the event of the failure of George Monck's male issue.[11]


Granville fought in the English Civil War in his father's regiment on the side of the defeated King Charles I (1625-1649).[1] He was created a knight due to his bravery, and became a Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales,[1] later King Charles II (1660-1685)

He accompanied the future King Charles II into exile, and mediated with the Long Parliament. In 1660 Granville was instrumental in the negotiations between his first cousin George Monck, and Charles II that led to the Restoration of the Monarchy to that King. Shortly after the Restoration, he contested the succession of the Dukedom of Albemarle, but lost. On 20 April 1661[12] he was created by King Charles II Baron Granville, Viscount Granville and Earl of Bath and in 1663 was invested as a Privy Councillor. In 1665 he served, in title at least, as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, although he never went to Ireland and consequently is not considered a true holder of that office. In about 1680 he rebuilt his ancestral seat of Stowe House in Cornwall in a grand style befitting his new noble status. His cousin the Duke of Albemarle between 1660 and his death in 1670, had commenced rebuilding on a similarly grand scale of his own ancestral seat of Potheridge in Devon, about 18 miles to the east of Stowe. Both new mansions were demolished within a few decades.[citation needed]

Lord Bath was twice appointed colonel of the 10th Regiment of Foot, first in 1685 then again in 1688 at around the time of the Glorious Revolution.

Marriage and progeny

Arms of Wyche: Azure, a pile ermine

In October 1652 at Kilkhampton John Granville married Jane Wyche, a daughter of Sir Peter Wyche, English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire[1] By his wife he had five children:




He died in London in 1701.


The armorials of the family of Granville / Grenville of Glamorgan, Devon and Cornwall is of certain form but uncertain blazon. The charges appear in the form of musical pipes of a wind-instrument, similar to pan-pipes. Authoritative sources on heraldry suggest the charges to be variously "clarions" (used by Guillim (d.1621)), the most usual blazon, which are however generally defined as a form of trumpet; "rests" is another common blazon, denoting lance-rests supposedly used by a mounted knight; "organ-rests" is also met with, a seemingly meaningless term (Gibbon (1682)). Other terms are "clavicymbal", "clarichord" and "sufflue" (used by Leigh in his Armory of 1562 and by Boswell, 1572),[14] the latter being a device for blowing (French: souffler) air into an organ.,[15] Guillim suggested the charge may be a rudder,[15] but in which case it is shown upside down, when compared to that charge used for example on the tomb at Callington of Robert Willoughby, 1st Baron Willoughby de Broke. Certainly in the brasses on the chest tomb of Sir John Bassett (d.1529) in Atherington Church, Devon, the charges are engraved in tubular forms with vents or reeds as used in true organ pipes.

See also


  • Burke, John, Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.3, 1836, pp. 3–7, Granville of Calwich Abbey (complete pedigree of Granville family)[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4  [ "Grenville, John" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Record for ‘‘John Granville, 1st Earl of Bath‘‘ on ‘‘‘‘
  3. G. E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 20-22.
  4. Round, p.130; Rev. Roger Granville, the family's historian, in his 1895 work changed the spelling retrospectively for all members of the family, which Round termed "barbarous" and "in the teeth of every letter and document" from pre-1660. (Round, p.131)
  5. Round, pp.130 et seq
  6. 6.0 6.1 Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitation of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.569, pedigree of Monk of Potheridge
  7. Yerby, George & Hunneyball, Paul, biography of George Smith (d.1619) of Madford House, Exeter, published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
  8. J. Horace Round, Family Origins and Other Studies, ed. Page, William, 1930, p.164, The Granvilles and the Monks
  9. The London Gazette: no. 1020. p. 2. 30 August 1675.
  10. J. Horace Round, Family Origins and Other Studies, ed. Page, William, 1930, p.163, The Granvilles and the Monks: "Great as was the favour bestowed on Sir John Granville" (i.e. later cr. 1st Earl of Bath) "and his brothers under Charles II, the actual part taken by Sir John in the restoration of the King was less potent to obtain it than his lucky relationship to George Monk, the prime agent in that event"
  11. Round, p.165
  12. Round, p.130
  13. 13.0 13.1 Risdon, Tristram (d.1640), Survey of Devon, 1811 edition, London, 1811, with 1810 Additions, p.419
  14. Boswell, Armorie of 1572, vol. 2, p. 124
  15. 15.0 15.1
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Morice
Governor of Plymouth
Succeeded by
Charles Trelawny
Preceded by
The Lord Arundell of Trerice
Governor of Pendennis Castle
Succeeded by
Sir Bevil Granville
New regiment Colonel of The Earl of Bath's Regiment
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Carney
Preceded by
Sir Charles Carney
Colonel of The Earl of Bath's Regiment
Succeeded by
Sir Bevil Granville
Court offices
English Interregnum Lord Warden of the Stannaries
Succeeded by
The 2nd Earl of Radnor
Honorary titles
English Interregnum Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall
With: Viscount Granville 1691–1693
Succeeded by
The 2nd Earl of Radnor
Preceded by
The 1st Earl of Radnor
Custos Rotulorum of Cornwall
Preceded by
The 1st Duke of Albemarle
Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Devon
Succeeded by
The 2nd Duke of Albemarle
Preceded by
The 2nd Duke of Albemarle
Lord Lieutenant of Devon
With: Viscount Granville 1691–1693
Succeeded by
The Earl of Stamford
Custos Rotulorum of Devon
Peerage of England
New creation Earl of Bath
Succeeded by
Charles Granville
Baron Granville
(descended by acceleration)